Front Group "National Committee to Preserve Social Security" purchases huge ad in USA TODAY, falsely claiming widespread opposition to personal Social Security accounts.
WASHINGTON – Social Security reform is no longer the third rail of American politics. But Big Labor wishes it still were, even as President Bush plans to push reforms in tonight\’s State of the Union Address.
The "National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare," a front group for Big Labor, purchased a full-page ad in today\’s USA Today proclaiming that 95.5% of senior citizens do not favor "diverting some Social Security payroll taxes into privately invested individual accounts."
Of course, the 95.5% of seniors polled were members of that very organization.
"George W. Bush proved to America in 2000 that Social Security is not a third rail of American politics – in fact, Americans admire leaders who propose to strengthen the program with reforms, as it would go bankrupt otherwise," said Grover Norquist , president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington , DC . "Big Labor needs to be honest: Sustaining Social Security in its present form would require either massive tax hikes on working Americans, or benefit cuts on retirees. Without meaningful reform, which of these options do they prefer?"
Polls show that a majority of Americans – including seniors – support the President\’s approach to reforming Social Security with personal accounts. A Zogby International poll from July of 2002 – in the midst of a 2,000 point decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average – showed 68.1% of Americans in favor of personal accounts as a component of Social Security, including 55% support by Americans aged 65 and above.
"Personal accounts for Social Security are not a radical idea," continued Norquist. "We are 30 years behind Chile , 20 years behind Britain , and 10 years behind Sweden and France , for heaven\’s sake. If Big Labor in the United States finds itself to the Left of the Europe an Left, Big Labor\’s days as a relevant political institution are numbered here in the United States."